Appleton, WI’s Tenement unveils at long last (three years without a release) its magnum opusPredatory Headlights in the form of a twenty-five song double album. Carefully constructed and sequenced, we are treated to the sounds of a genius band at its pinnacle, utilizing its perfected approach to pop punk songwriting without a throwaway track to be heard. I’m not a fan of the word “accessible,” if only because it’s often misused in describing a band when they’ve attained a certain level of mainstream attention or acceptability. Being mentioned and acknowledged by quasi-mainstream outlets the way Tenement recently has makes me suspect of the intentions of “alternative” music sources. However, Predatory Headlights has the sort of instant appeal found only in certain records such as Descendents’ Everything Sucks: a classic album so masterful that working your way backwards through the band’s back catalog only makes you appreciate their prior works all that much more—and believe me when I say that Napalm Dream and The Blind Wink are masterpieces in their own right. The dream for most bands is to live comfortably from their art but then, sometimes, you have a band like Tenement who also appears to spend their free time super gluing cigarette butts and empty tall boys to their porch. Knowing that about them puts my mind at ease of the thought of them possibly ever betraying any of my expectations, and so I wish continued success for them.
–Juan Espinosa (Don Giovanni, dongiovannirecords.com)